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A city that tells the tales of numerous cultures which are woven into its multiple historical and architectural stunners, every nook of Lucknow shouts royalty with remnants of rich past dotted throughout the Nawabi City. Nestled on the banks of the River Gomti, Lucknow is the epitome of Awadhi culture and cuisine. Famed for its Nawabs, kebab, adaab (respect) and shabab (pristine beauty), the city’s charm is hard to resist. Often overlooked by international travelers due to lack of awareness, Lucknow offers plenty to see and do without the maddening rush of other touristy cities. From its epic monuments to wide riverside boulevards and lip-smacking cuisine to attractive shopping avenues, Lucknow is a bag packer’s delight.
Here’s presenting you some solid reasons why you should not miss out on a trip to this fascinating cultural gem of India.
Lucknow’s grandiosity reflected through its architectural masterpieces will leave you spellbound. Home to the Nawabs of Avadh who were great patrons of art and architecture, the city is blessed with a number of historical monuments constructed during their reign. The imposing Bara Imambara with its Bhool Bhulaiya (maze) is the star attraction in Lucknow. The maze which stands on the top of a large hall whose ceiling is not supported by any pillars or beams will leave you flummoxed. Once you are done with the Bara Imambara, take a cycle-rickshaw ride to the stunning Chhota Imambara through the towering Rumi Darwaza (archway) along the kilometer long Lucknow Heritage Walk to get a glimpse of the city’s glorious past including the struggle for independence during the 1857 mutiny at the British Residency. An evening stroll along the newly constructed Gomti Riverfront would be soothing after a tiring day out exploring the city’s other monuments.
When it comes to food, there are very few cities in India that can compete with the quality of food and the price at which it is offered in Lucknow. You can even have a full non-vegetarian meal in under a dollar. Can you beat that? The old city is the hub of Lucknow’s food scene. You can start your Lucknow food odyssey by taking a stroll on the famous “Akbari Gate” food trail. Sip Kashmiri Chai (pink tea) at Al Madina Kashmiri Chai and Lassi, gorge on to delicious Nihari-Kulcha (beef based dish) at Raheem’s Kulche-Nihari, munch on the famous Tundey Kebabs at chowk Tunday Kebabi, feast on the best biryani you have ever had at Idrees Biryani and finally top it up with some lip-smacking deserts at Radhey Lal’s Parampara. All this and a lot more await you in Lucknow.
Lucknow is equally famous for its Chikankari (shadow-work embroidery on fine muslin cloth) as it is for its cuisine and architecture. Ensure a visit to the narrow bylanes of Chowk to purchase hand-embroidered Chikan clothes at throwaway prices which can be the perfect souvenir for your loved ones. Visit one of the city’s famous perfumers in Chowk area to try some oil-based ittar perfume which will surely give a cool reality-check to your liking for alcohol-based perfumes. The Victorian-era styled streets at Hazratganj are dotted with several high-end stores selling the latest in the world of fashion and hawkers selling cheap accessories right next to them. Ladies should not miss out on a trip to the famous Aminabad and Gadbadjhala markets where the shopkeepers have the answer to that pesky question, “what women want”?
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